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Drillers Walk-Off Wind Surge in Sunday Finale

Justin Yurchak hit his first home run of the season to give Tulsa its second run of the game. (Tim Campbell)
June 19, 2022

TULSA, OK – For the second consecutive game, Leonel Valera was the hero for the Tulsa Drillers as two plays made by the shortstop helped defeat the Wichita Wind Surge 3-2 in extra innings on Sunday afternoon at ONEOK Field. The win gave the Drillers six wins in the seven-game

TULSA, OK – For the second consecutive game, Leonel Valera was the hero for the Tulsa Drillers as two plays made by the shortstop helped defeat the Wichita Wind Surge 3-2 in extra innings on Sunday afternoon at ONEOK Field.

The win gave the Drillers six wins in the seven-game series with the Wind Surge as they now lead the Coors Light Propeller Series 11-4.

With two outs in the top of the tenth inning and with a runner on third base, Valera made a leaping snag on a hard line drive to record the final out, keeping the game tied. Valera began the Drillers half of the tenth as the placed runner on second base. The inning’s first batter, Jeren Kendall, laid down a bunt, that Wichita pitcher Alex Scherff fielded and threw wildly past first base, allowing Valera to score the walk-off run.

BOXSCORE

For the fifth time this series, the Drillers scored the game's first run in the game. Devin Mann led off the first inning with a single on the first pitch and advanced to second when James Outman drew a walk. Hunter Feduccia brought Mann to the plate with a single to give Tulsa a 1-0 lead.

The Wind Surge evened the game in the third inning when Cole Sturgeon singled to center, scoring Matt Wallner from second base.

Tulsa relievers Gus Varland and Austin Drury kept the game tied for the next two innings before the Drillers regained the lead. In the fifth, Justin Yurchak gave Tulsa a 2-1 by hitting his first home run of the season.

Ryan Ward made a sliding catch in foul territory to backup the strong Tulsa pitching in Sunday afternoon. Rich Crimi

Wichita tied the game again in the sixth inning when back-to-back singles allowed DaShawn Keirsey to reach third base, where he scored on a ground out to tie the game at 2-2.

The pitching for both squads slowed the bats in the second half of the contest, as Tulsa earned just one hit following Yurchak's home run. The Drillers pitching staff followed suit, retiring 11 of the final 14 batters, giving up just one hit after the Wind Surge's sixth-inning run.

Yurchak drew a walk in the ninth inning before Valera struck out to send the game to extra innings. Yurchak's walk proved significant, allowing the speedy Valera to start the tenth from second base.

In the tenth, Cole Sturgeon began the Wichita half with a single that moved the placed runner to third. One play later, a ground ball to third baseman Brandon Lewis caught the lead runner in a rundown that ended with an out but moved the trailing runner, Sturgeon, to third base. Valera then made the play of the game that set up the walk-off win.

HIGHLIGHTS AND HAPPENINGS:

*The Drillers now have a three-game lead in the North Division of the Texas League with just six games left in the first half. The second-place Arkansas Travelers were shut out 4-0 by Northwest Arkansas on Sunday to increase the Drillers lead in the division.

*The Drillers used an arsenal of pitchers in a bullpen game for Tulsa. Varland, Nick Robertson, and Jose Adames combined to toss 5.1 scoreless innings. Adames earned his second win of the season.

*Tulsa's pitching staff finished with 83 strikeouts in the series.

*With Yurchak's homer in the fifth, the Drillers have hit a home run in ten consecutive games.

UP NEXT:

The Drillers hit the road to Midland, Texas, to take on the Midland Rockhounds in a six-game set to close the first half of the regular season. Game one is scheduled for Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Pitchers for both teams are to be announced.